The baseball season is nearly over and the Kansas City Royals didn’t really accomplish much for the 2012 season. Their record wasn’t that impressive and they didn’t make the playoffs. However, they could be in the picture next year with all the young talented players they already have and can develop throughout the off-season. An example of what baseball fans could see next year comes in the form of the Oakland Athletics.
Both of these teams are very similar as smaller markets plague them. It’s hard to compete in the MLB without a large payroll, but the Athletics proved it’s possible to compete without a large payroll, such as the one of the Texas Rangers or New York Yankees. Going into the 2012 season, Oakland was predicted to finish as one of the worst teams, but won the American League West and made the post season.
Can the Royals Win in 2013?
Kauffman Stadium will be packed in 2013 if the Royals can find a way to win. They were expected to finish better than 72 and 90 in 2012, but they will certainly turn that around in 2013. As long as they can stay healthy, it’s possible they could actually win the division, which also includes the Tigers, White Sox, Indians and Twins.
Players, such as Eric Hosmer, Johnny Giavotella, Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar and Billy Butler will lead the way, just as they were supposed to in 2012. An addition the Royals might make this year is outfielder Wil Myers. He won the J.G. Taylor Spin Award as the top minor league player of 2012. He’s the top prospect for Kansas City with 37 home runs and a .314 batting average, while splitting time between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha during 2012.
The Biggest Offseason Decision
The Royals have a huge decision to make, which could affect the outcome of the 2013 season. Closer Joakim Soria underwent Tommy John surgery during Spring Training and they hold an $8 million option for his 2013 contract, which also has a $750,000 buyout. They will have to make this decision soon, as this must be done by the third day after the last World Series game. A big part of this decision comes from the success of Greg Holland, the Royals late season closer, during the last part of 2012.
Starting Pitching Will Make the Difference
The biggest weakness for the Kansas City Royals during the 2012 season was starting pitching. They had a strong bullpen, but they were overworked due to bad starting pitching. They need to fill some of these gaps if they want to win the division. This was the key when it came to the Oakland Athletics. They were led by great starting pitching, even from rookies and the bullpen was able to display all their talent without being overworked.
The key for the Royals in 2013 is to start strong. If they can win in the first half of the season, more fans will purchase Kansas City Royals tickets to watch them throughout the season. With the new stadium, giving fans one good reason to show up, the team still has to do their part. The Oakland team did their part and were rewarded with nearly double the fans during the final few months compared to the beginning of the season. The Royals have the talent, but still need to fill a few pitching gaps if they plan to put a competitive team on the field during the 2013 season.